I came across an article by Hippocratic Adventures which listed a few countries where physicians can practice medicine as long as they have a recognized medical school and board certification through the ABMS. Since Belize was on that list, I decided to do a little research for US physicians wanting to practice in Belize.
Having a medical license abroad seems like an excellent way to protect your primary source of income. It’s something that I am working on as well. However, having different income sources from things outside of medicine can also be good.
My health coaching practice and virtual primary care practice make me feel a little less worried about the long-term health of my income capabilities.
Belize Medical Counsel
If you want to get your medical license accepted abroad, the first step is to find that country’s medical counsel or medical governing body.
The Belize Medical Counsel has a website where they share their contact information and have some forms available for download.
The Belize Government website has its own site, which you can review in case you need to reach out to their licensing accreditation unit.
Your Medical Credentials
To practice abroad, your need a medical license and some documents to prove your medical training.
To practice as a physician in Belize, your US medical school should be on the World Directory of Medical School list. There are exceptions to this, so it doesn’t mean you won’t qualify if yours isn’t listed.
When it comes to board certification and specialties, it’s all changing quickly and it’s rather individual when it comes to each country.
Some countries will accept your board certification if it’s through the ABMS, which is the parent group of ABIM and ABFM etc. The Belize medical counsel will generally accept Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and most other common specialties, but there might be more hoops to jump through for other specialties.
It’s possible that Belize might accept your NBPAS board certification, but that’s again on an individualized basis.
Documents Needed a Medical License in Belize
You need to collect a few documents similar to what you would need if applying for a new job.
Medical schools should have your transcripts and can issue you a letter in place of a diploma if needed.
- Medical transcripts authenticated by your school
- Medical school diploma or equivalent
- Letter of intent
- Evidence of passing USMLE
- Letter of good standing with your state medical board
- Current and active state medical license
- Proof of residency in Belize/permission to work
- Police/FBI records
- TOEFL if not a native English speaker
This list came from a sample PDF that applicants fill out for their Belize medical license.